FIDE changes Candidates 2026 qualification rule, no direct spot for World C'ships runner-up
From the 2026 edition onwards, the runner-up of the World Championship will no longer be eligible for a direct qualification to the event. The runner-up has to navigate the qualification process.
International Chess Federation (FIDE), on Saturday, overhauled the qualification process for the next Candidates tournament to be held in 2026.
From the 2026 edition onwards, the runner-up of the World Championship will no longer be eligible for a direct qualification to the event.
The runner-up of the World Championship match in 2024 has to join the qualification process. The runner-up, however, will receive bonus points based on the match performance.
According to FIDE, the new changes will improve the level of competition, boosting player involvement, and ensuring fair representation of top contenders.
In the qualification system, the spot for the highest-rated player will depend on a six-month average rating. If the player pulls out, the spot goes to the second highest-rated player, redirecting to FIDE Circuit 2025 if already qualified.
The two spots in the FIDE Circuit for 2024 and 2025 will serve as qualifying paths for the 2026 Candidates.
Meanwhile, the FIDE World Cup 2025 will offer three qualifying spots to the players finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
The FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament, on the other hand, will offer two qualifying spots for the Candidates Tournament. The slots will be awarded to the first and second position holders.